My Big Fat Greek Wedding – Hidden vs. Visible Culture


Movie Synopsis

Toula is a mousy, Greek-American woman who still lives with her family. She works as a Hostess for the family restaurant. Toula is a “late bloomer” who goes through a physical and educational transformation at age 30. Toula then starts working for her aunt’s travel agency.  At the travel agency, she meets a non-Greek, Anglo-American and falls in love.

Ian is a handsome Anglo-American man. Ian first notices Toula at her family’s Greek restaurant.  The second time, Ian meets Toula at her aunt’s travel agency. Ian goes in to chat with Toula. Ian asks Toula for a date.   After dating for a while, they fall in love, but then the family finds out.  Ian meets the family.

Toula’s mom and dad own a Greek restaurant.  Mom and dad expect Toula to marry a “good Greek boy, and have lots of Greek babies”.  Athena is an older sister.  Athena has always been “perfect,” and has married a “good Greek boy”.  Athena has had lots of babies.  Nick is Toula’s younger brother.  Nick cooks for the family restaurant.  Nick intends to marry a “good Greek girl” and have lots of Greek babies someday.  Voula is Toula’s aunt.  Niki is the daughter of the aunt and owns a travel agency, for whom Toula eventually becomes an agent.

Which of the following items on the list are examples of visible culture?  Which of the following items on the list are examples of hidden culture?

Halls Iceberg Model of Culture

Hidden vs Visible Culture Table Resized

The students will do the class discussion exercise or the group exercise depending on their knowledge level of cross-cultural communication.

Class Discussion Exercise

1) The students will label 1-26 above as being an example of visible or hidden culture.

2) The students will work with a partner and compare and contrast Toula’s and Ian’s family in areas 1-26 above before participating in a class discussion.

3) After watching the YouTube videos below, the relative importance on marriage of areas 1-26 will be discussed.

Cross Cultural Marriage

Intercultural Marriage (part 1)

High vs. Low

Group Exercise

Group 1) Compare and contrast Toula’s and Ian’s family in the areas of visible culture.

Group 2) Compare and contrast Toula’s and Ian’s family in the areas of hidden culture.

Group 3) Compare and contrast the communication style of Toula’s and Ian’s family in terms of direct versus indirect communication.

Group 4) Compare and contrast the communication style of Toula’s and Ian’s family in terms of emotional expression.

Group 5) Compare and contrast the communication style of Toula’s and Ian’s family in terms of low versus high context communication.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Worksheet

 

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